Without going into too much detail about the main character, Easy Rawlins, Walter Mosley has spent about 20 years developing the character in 14 books so far and 1 movie from the first book, “Devil In A Blue Dress” starring Denzel Washington. Easy Rawlins is a private eye in 60s and 70s Los Angeles who tries to operate as close to the lines of the law, but the unwritten law of the streets always seems to impede his attempts. Mosley’s recent Easy Rawlins book, “Charcoal Joe” is no different. If Charcoal Joe were made into a movie, here is who should be playing whom:
Bonnie -Angela Bassett
Obviously Bassett could play one of many of these roles, but she does a decent West Indian accent, so there you go.
Jogue Cham - Mahershala Ali
Super talented actor who's talent might actually be wasted in such a small role.
Jo - Dihann Carroll
Ms. Carroll playing a witch? If you've ever met a witch in the hood, you'd answer "ooooh, yeah!"
Marvin Suggs - Joe Pantoliano
It's Joey Pants.....need I say more?
Rufus Tyler (Charcoal Joe) - Delroy Lindo
I had another actor in mind for this role, but then I remember there is an August Wilson-esque monologue that Lindo could easily body.
Jasmine Palmas-Hardy: Vanessa Belle Calloway
This was tough because Mrs Calloway could play either this or the role of Belle.
Fearless Jones - Aldin Hodge
This kat is hot right now. If they can get him and get him to add about 20 lbs of muscle, he would take over the movie as Fearless
Dr. Seymour Brathwaite - Tyler Williams
If you didn't read the book, you won't understand why this is a perfect fit.
Jackson Blue - Rel Howery
Howery doesn't have much of an acting resume as of yet, but he could provide drops of comic relief portraying the cowardly Jackson Blue
Feather - Jaylen Barron
Picture perfect for the role. But the producers better hurry, Barron is blossoming into a beautiful young woman
Mouse - Michael A Williams
Will Williams be forever type cast as a gay thug? Who cares! Omar is actually the time leap version of Mouse.
Mouse has soul-piercing eyes. So does Howard. We've seen him play sinister and he's damn good at it.
Easy Rawlins - Courtney B Vance
Vance is perfect to play Easy at this stage in his life. Versatile, handsome but not pretty, and a darn good actor.
One quick note; I had a hard time placing who Vanessa Bell-Calloway would play versus who Angela Bassett would play. Only because I made a moviegoer observation; I can’t recall Vance and Bassett playing in the same more or in romantic roles for that matter. Hell, I’ve never seen Vance kiss a woman on screen. So perhaps Vance would not make a good Easy Rawlins as wifey would be on set like “hey, HEY! That’s enough of that!” especially given how much sex Easy is getting in this book. And whoever has to play Jasmine Palmas-Hard has to be able to handle what should be a graphic sex scene. That being said, my backup main characters are Wesley Snipes or Larenz Tate for Easy Rawlins, Kimberly Ellse or to REALLY to put the role over the top Karrine “Superhead” Steffans to play Jasmine Palmas-Hardy, and possibly Lynn Whitfield to play Belle.